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Molson Export is a popular Canadian beer brand, and my personal brew of choice. Not widely available outside the country, this stronger tasting beer is the number one selling ale in Canada. It is a sister brand to the popular Molson Canadian lager, and is widely sold in a split 24 bottle case, called a Pleasure Pack. Molson, the largest brewery in Canada, has been producing Export continuously since 1903. The brand also recently won a Gold Medal at the Monde Selection Beer Festival in 2001. It is regularly ordered in bars by asking for an "Ex" or "X". It has a strong ale flavor, and a noticeable aftertaste. It also has the standard 5.5% alcohol content found in most Canadian beers.

Way back in 1786, John Molson, an Englishman by birth, founded Molson Breweries in Montreal, Quebec. This small enterprise was one of many for Mr. Molson, who also dabbled in steamship construction and even established a bank. The brewery quickly became his most successful enterprise, as local competition was largely absent. Molson's brews competed mainly with West Indies Rum and local applejack whiskies for market share. Molson saw that the spirit business was a viable one, and went on to build Canada's first industrial grain-distillery, and opened an export business for Canadian spirits, which saw brisk trade in England.

This export market helped cement Molson as the cornerstone of the Canadian brewery business. After John Molson's death in 1836, the spirits and brews produced by his company continued to sell briskly, both in Canada and abroad. Recognizing that its move to a world market had helped establish the company, Molson, while launching a new ale type beer in 1903, christened it's newest product Molson Export. It was an immediate success.

The popularity of the beer has fluctuated in the various demographics that spread across Canada, but it remains generally popular. The brand celebrated its hundredth anniversary in 2003. Ironically, because of its long standing success, it has been regarded as an "old man's beer". Quick to combat this perception and steer the marketing back to the key 18-24 year old male market (drinking age is 19 in most of Canada, exceptions being Alberta, Quebec and Manitoba at 18), the company launched the tongue in cheek "Have you had 'Ex today?" ad campaign. While not as universally popular as the nationalistic "I am Canadian" ads, it has helped to revive slacking sales.

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